15. Truly sophisticated ignorance

Ascended Master Jesus through Kim Michaels.

In this key we will tackle the most subtle form of sophisticated ignorance. Again, the Buddha who is the antidote for this poison is Vairochana and his wisdom is the All-pervading Wisdom. As you study the following teachings, use his mantra:




In a sense, one might say that I have been talking about sophisticated ignorance since the beginning of this course:

  • I have said that the essence of the path to personal Christhood is that you come to see what you cannot see, that you come to see the beam in your own eye.
  • I have said that the second challenge of Christ is whether you will allow the Living Christ to take you beyond your current mental box, which means you must be willing to see and acknowledge the limitations of that box.
  • I have talked about the outer path versus the inner path and said you need to leave behind all of the illusions of the outer path.

Yet what exactly does that mean for you at your current level on the path? The most dangerous aspect of sophisticated ignorance is that it makes you absolutely convinced that you are right, while in reality you are wrong. You are out of alignment with God’s reality because – in your mind – you have elevated an illusion to the status of “reality.” And when you have this belief, you obviously will not be willing to heed the Living Christ, when he or she comes to take you beyond your current mental box. You see no need to go beyond that box, since you are convinced it is complete and infallible—which means you have to reject the teacher. In effect, sophisticated ignorance makes you think that you know better than the teacher how to walk the path to Christhood. You think you have found the ultimate knowledge, belief or understanding and that you have no need to question it. This reaction is typical for people who are trapped in both black-and-white and gray thinking, as both forms of thinking offer the ego plenty of justification for staying where it is comfortable and rejecting the teacher.

So what is wrong with your current mental box? Isn’t it possible that you really have found the ultimate understanding of life and the spiritual path? Well, as we saw in the previous key, there is no such thing as the ultimate spiritual teaching. However, just to make sure you understand this point, let me propose a simple way to determine whether you need to question your current mental box. You need to consider the fact that you are sitting on Earth reading this book, while I am dictating it from the spiritual realm. This means that you have not ascended, while I have made my ascension. So the essential question here is why you have not ascended and I have?

The logical answer is that I must have figured out something that you have not – yet – figured out. Why is that so—could it not be that you have all the knowledge you need for your ascension but it simply isn’t your time to leave the Earth behind (the ego can always reason with any argument raised by the teacher, which is a good way to expose the ego)? Well, consider a simple test. Can you – this instant – raise yourself into the spiritual realm? If you can, then come up here and join me, so we can continue this conversation “face to face.”

If you are still reading this, it can mean only one thing. No matter how sophisticated you think your knowledge is, it is still not sophisticated enough to propel you to the spiritual realm at will. You still have a ways to go before you get here—for if you did not have a ways to go, you would already be here!

If your conscious self is willing to acknowledge that I have ascended and you have not, then you should be able to accept a couple of conclusions. One is that since I have ascended, I really do know something you don’t know. Thus, you should listen to me rather than one of the many false teachers found in the material world or in the emotional, mental and etheric realms—including your own ego.

Another conclusion is that since I have ascended, I must have figured out something your conscious self has not yet figured out and which your ego will never figure out. So what might that be? Well, let me expose to you the ultimate secret about the spiritual path.

Now, I want you to take a few seconds to consider what kind of reaction you notice inside yourself to the statement that I will give you the ultimate secret. Do you notice any particular thoughts or sensations? If so, explore them to find out what they are.

No matter what sensations you might have noticed, they came from the ego. How can I say that? Because – as I have attempted to explain in previous keys – the ego is always on the impossible quest of finding the ultimate secret that will make it acceptable to God. So what is the ultimate secret?


It is that there is NO ultimate secret!


There is no magical formula that will suddenly take you to a higher state of consciousness. There is no outer path that will automatically make you qualify for salvation, ascension, enlightenment or whatever you want to call it.

The essential key to reaching the spiritual realm is the process of ongoing growth that I have called the River of Life. And the essence of this growth is that you are constantly expanding your mental box, your sense of identity. You are constantly questioning your beliefs and even the way you look at yourself. You are willing to let your old identity die, so that you can be born again – of water and of fire – into a higher sense of identity. Yet this does not happen in one dramatic moment – where the heavens open and you see flashes of light and hear angels singing, or whatever people imagine – it happens as the result of daily choices to put off the old man and put on the new man—as Paul put it. He also said, “I die daily!”

So you should now be willing to question one of the most dearly held illusions of the ego, namely that you are working toward some ultimate peak experience that will suddenly turn you into an entirely different person. I can assure you that every person who discovers the spiritual path – even the inner path – must face the temptation to deal with this illusion. And although you might have overcome it at the layers of your mind that are close to your conscious awareness, it is time to dig deeper and make sure you have overcome it at deeper levels as well.

You see, this dream of an ultimate breakthrough is the carrot that the ego is dangling in front of the nose of the conscious self. And as long as the conscious self believes in the illusion, you will keep running after the carrot—and in doing so, you will be running away from the true key to growth. What is that key? It is that you stop looking for an experience from outside yourself and start looking for the kingdom of God inside yourself—realizing you will reach it only by taking small, daily steps toward expanding your sense of identity—until you fully accept yourself as a co-creator with God and thus find yourself in the state of oneness that IS the kingdom of God.

We might say that the ego is on a quest to perfect your mental box and reach some ultimate state where your salvation is guaranteed. The real key to the path is that you continue to expand your mental box—which means you never hold on to your current box. You gladly let it go, knowing you will only gain greater freedom. There is an ultimate expansion, which is God consciousness, but the more important intermediate stage for you is to reach the Christ consciousness, which opens you to a perception of the spiritual realm—whereby you will be in the kingdom of God even while still in a physical body.

Do you see that Christhood is not a mechanical process, but a creative process in which you expand the self consciously? You are charged with defining the self through which you co-create in the material world, so you must define your identity as a Christed Being. This will not happen as a result of you doing outer things, not even following this course.


If you will take a look at spiritual people, you will see that many of them are chasing what they call “peak experiences.” Some are traveling to what they see as the spiritual places on the planet in order to be there at just the right time to get a peak experience. Others seek it in meditation, retreats or other spiritual courses. Others chase for the ultimate spiritual teacher who can give them the experience and still others look for the ultimate chemical high. Yet can you see that they are all looking for an experience coming as the result of something outside themselves?

Now, I know very well that if your conscious self truly is beginning to awaken from the ego’s ultimate illusion, you will be feeling something that is akin to the withdrawal symptoms that addicts experience when they give up their addictive substance. It is quite possible that you have actually been addicted to this chase for some kind of spiritual fix, and it is inevitable that you will have to go through a period of recovery to overcome the addiction.

What I have done here – that is, if you have understood and acknowledged what I have been saying – is that I have taken all the mystery – some will say all the fun – out of the spiritual path. Look at how many people think there needs to be some kind of mystery involved with religion and spirituality. Many spiritual seekers talk about mystery schools and a mystical path—and they love the sense that they know something most people don’t know or receive secret initiations. They love the concept of a path of initiation, where there is still something unknown ahead of you, but on the other hand you are ahead of those who are below you.

What I am saying here is that there truly is no mystery. The path is a very pragmatic process of taking one small step at a time. It is a matter of always looking for the next illusion you need to overcome, seeing why it is an illusion and then consciously dismissing it. This is how you make progress on the path—by letting the old sense of identity die and being reborn into a new identity that is only a degree beyond the old one.

But what about the mystery? Am I saying that there are no breakthrough experiences that suddenly expand your vision? Well, there are certainly breakthroughs, but the further along you move on the path, the less dramatic they become. And the final shift between being unascended and ascended is not nearly as dramatic as some people – especially ascended master students – tend to think. It is extremely important that you understand why this is so.

You may look back at your own path and realize that you have had some dramatic breakthrough experiences. Many spiritual seekers had such dramatic experiences when they first found the path, feeling that an entirely new world, an entirely new world view, opened up to them. You may even have felt that after that initial phase, you have had few or no dramatic experiences. You may even feel like something must have gone wrong and that you must have lost something you had in the beginning. In fact, this sense of a let-down, of an anti-climax, of feeling the path has become routine or dull might have been part of what motivated you to begin this course—hoping I could provide the drama you perceive to be missing. So let me explain to you what has happened.

What is the mechanical aspect of a dramatic experience of any kind? It is contrast! For there to be drama, there must be contrast, meaning that there must be two opposites. And this mention of opposites should make alarm bells start ringing, for what is the very nature of the ego? It is that it is based on duality—the duality that always has two opposite polarities.

So why was it such a dramatic experience to find the spiritual path? It was because you were brought up in a culture that has no knowledge of the spiritual path. Thus, you were brought up in very deep ignorance, which means finding the spiritual path provided a dramatic contrast. Yet can you see that the intensity of the contrast was determined by the depth of your ignorance? The deeper the darkness, the starker the contrast when the light starts shining!

You may have heard that heroin addicts have a dramatic experience on their first fix and spend the rest of their lives chasing that ultimate fix. Well, the reason is that it is only the first time that there can be the ultimate contrast between people’s normal state of consciousness and whatever experience they have on drugs—which I can assure you is never a true spiritual experience. My point here is that there are spiritual people who likewise had a very dramatic experience upon finding the path and who have become addicted to chasing that ultimate experience.

Obviously, I don’t want you to be among them, for this chase can never take you to Christhood. Why not? Well, the essence of Christhood is that you rise above the ego, meaning that you rise above the consciousness of death, the consciousness of anti-christ. And what is the nature of this consciousness? It is that it is dualistic, meaning that it will always have two opposite polarities. And precisely because it always has two opposites, it will always provide plenty of contrast. Meaning that the consciousness of anti-christ can offer you dramatic experiences—which the consciousness of Christ simply cannot offer.

Why not? Because the consciousness of Christ is above duality. It has no opposite polarities, only the oneness with God, the oneness with all life. This is a state of peace that is very joyful. In fact, Buddhism calls it bliss or Nirvana and I called it the kingdom of God. Yet this bliss is not the kind of happiness that most people long for on Earth. For on Earth, happiness is currently seen as a dualistic concept. Happiness is opposed to unhappiness, whereas bliss has no opposite. Bliss has no contrast, meaning that there cannot be the dramatic shift from darkness to light.

Do you see what I am saying here? When you first found the spiritual path, you had a lot of false beliefs and imperfect energies in your mind and energy field. You had a lot of darkness, which means that when you first saw the light, you experienced a dramatic contrast between the light and the darkness. And this contrast is what gave you what seemed like a peak experience. Yet do you see that the intensity of this experience was in direct proportion to the amount of darkness in your being? The more darkness, the more intense the experience, for the greater the contrast?

Yet what is the path to Christhood all about? It is about overcoming your false beliefs and purifying your energy field from all lower vibrations. So if you successfully walk the path, you will decrease the intensity of the darkness in your being. Meaning that when you have breakthrough experiences, there will no longer be the dramatic contrast between light and darkness—and thus the experiences will inevitably seem less intense. In fact, they will gradually begin to seem perfectly natural.

Can you see that this is actually a sign that you have made real progress? Yet the ego and the false teachers are always looking for a way to nullify your progress, so they have created the very clever concept of seeking for the ultimate breakthrough experience. And since you are not experiencing anything dramatic, they can make you believe that you are no longer making progress. So you must be doing something wrong, which means you can easily be diverted into the following extremes or one of the blind alleys in between the extremes:

  • You become discouraged, feeling like what you are doing is not working, perhaps giving up on the path or resigning yourself to the fact that you will never break through.
  • You begin the quest for finding the ultimate way to force a breakthrough experience, thus seeking to take heaven by force. This actually “works” for some people in the sense that they open themselves up to dark forces that enter their beings, whereby there is once again enough darkness to provide contrast. Yet the drama does not equate with true spiritual progress. Thus, these people are not moving closer to Christhood, for they are tied up in a see-saw that takes them up, then down, then up, then down—ad infinitum.

What I want you to see here is the fact that as you move higher on the real path to Christhood, you remove darkness from your being, and thus there will be less contrast to provide you with dramatic experiences. Thus, you need to let go of the dream of having dramatic experiences and instead begin to look for the “ultimate” experience, namely that of constant, unwavering peace of mind—which is truly a state of bliss, only it is not a state that has an opposite.

This points to a new definition of “ultimate.” The dualistic definition is that an ultimate experience is one that provides maximum drama, which can come only from maximum contrast. A non-dualistic definition is that ultimate means that opposites have been eliminated or transcended, so that there is no longer any contrast.

NOTE: The rest of this dictation is available in the book: Master Keys to Personal Christhoood.

Copyright © 2008 Kim Michaels